It’s the start of World Immunisation Week, and if you don’t work within the healthcare industry, the term ‘immunisation’ may be unclear.
What exactly is immunisation? Why do we have it? What is the difference between immunisation and vaccination? And most importantly, what are the benefits?
There are hundreds of long, detailed definitions available online which can be daunting to read for some.
So like a typical marketer, I posed a much simpler question to our nurses and educators – “Can anyone explain or define immunisation, in 140 characters or less?”.
Immunisation and vaccination are used interchangeably and although they are both related, one describes the action while the other describes the effect.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) definition is as follows.
Vaccination employs vaccines to stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease.
Immunisation is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, by the administration of a vaccine.
So what is my definition of immunisation in only 140 characters? I think succinct definitions are a worthwhile goal – so it would read something like:
Immunisation is the body’s response to a vaccine. It recognises the invading ‘germ’ and produces antibodies. This produces an immune response.
How would you describe immunisation?
If you would like to learn more about immunisation, our educators can provide you a more descriptive definition here. Alternatively send us your question and let us provide you with an answer!